Saving money on car insurance is easier than you think… with a little bit of self education. Here are 15 simple things you can do that will save you money, while better protecting your car and its occupants.
So have at it – become a confident, educated consumer and make sure you pay the lowest possible price for your car insurance!
15 Tips To Get Better Insurance Rates
- Understand insurance companies – The auto insurance industry is divided into three types of businesses: Direct Agents, Independent Agents who sell the insurance of various companies, and Exclusive Agents who work on commission and can only sell one brand of insurance. If you have a good driving record, it’s likely you’ll get the best deal from a direct agent because they remove the middle man.
- Shop around – This is easily one of the most important factors to consider. Don’t take quotes from just a couple auto insurance companies. Instead, really look into what each has to offer and which discounts they can give you.
- Ask for insurance advice at your body shop – Your local body shop works with insurance companies and their adjustors nearly every day. Ask them which companies they prefer and which have the smoothest claims process.
- Check with your state’s insurance department – Depending on which state you’re in, many publish consumer complaint data and complaint ratios that show how many consumer complaints have been made against each company. Make sure you choose a company that you’re comfortable with and has gotten good reviews.
- Slow down – If you’ve had several speeding tickets, you’re much less likely to get discounts for safe driving.
- Etch your VIN – Studies have shown that cars with an etched-in VIN are much less likely to get stolen. By avoiding a stolen car, you’ll avoid a claim.
- Verify the accuracy of your policy – If you haven’t done so, take a minute to browse through your policy to make sure everything is correct. You’d be surprised at how quickly small charges can add up.
- Avoid lapses in coverage – Even a few weeks’ lapse in coverage can make you ineligible for discounts. If you’re in the process of switching carriers, make sure you don’t quit your previous carrier until the new coverage takes effect.
- Don’t claim small amounts – If you often make small claims (less than $500), you may have to pay a higher premium when it comes time for renewal. If you make a significant amount of claims in one year, your insurer may not want to cover you at all. Next time you have a claim, make sure it’s worth it in the long run.
- Limit the number of people who drive your car – The more people you have listed as drivers, the higher your premium will be. Teenagers and young adults under 25 are among the most expensive drivers to add to the policy.
- Verify the accuracy of your VIN – Most drivers are unaware of this, but an inaccurate VIN (even if it’s off by just one digit) can affect your auto insurance quote. Double check your VIN to ensure you’re not being overcharged.
- Mind your credit score – More and more auto insurance carriers are considering credit scores when giving you a quote. Sometimes, having bad credit can end in you paying up to 50 percent more. So, make sure to pay your bills on time and check that there are no items on your credit score that aren’t yours.
- Evaluate insurance costs when purchasing a new vehicle – When considering a new car, get a quote on your insurance rate, as the year, make, and model can make quite a big difference. Newer, sporty cars will be significantly more expensive to insure than used, family-style cars.
- Purchase a low profile car – Similar to the above, know that cars that are expensive to repair or have a high theft rate will end up costing you quite a bit more to insure.
- Don’t “pimp your ride” – Research has shown that adding modifications to your car, like a rear spoiler or lowering the suspension, can nearly double the cost of coverage.
And there you have it! Next time you’re shopping for new auto insurance, keep in mind the above tips – you may be surprised just how much money they can save you in the long run.
This is a guest post from Pam King. Pam writes on frugality, safety and insurance literacy for Direct General, a provider of cheap car insurance . When not saving money on her insurance, Pam enjoys knitting, NASCAR, family and watching rollerderby! :)
Robert @ The College Investor says
You can also raise your deductible to $1000 or higher. This is in line with #9 Don’t Claim Small Amounts. The higher the deductible, the lower the payments!
Thanks fr the information. There is one thing that affects the cost more than any other which the insurance rating or classification. I understand Hondas are a high theft risk.
Chris Gallagher says
With our current car insurance company, I was asked to take a quick evaluation of my policy with the agent and found they had some information wrong. Simply changing my education to a College Degree changed the rate. Then they had my home ownership wrong. When we changed it to Owner of the residence I lived at, the premium dropped more. All in all I saved about $50 a month just in those changes.
Just some additional thoughts,
Spokane Al says
Your advice is great and the point on not making small claims raises a question for me. I often see advertisements for windshield chip repair where the insurance company will cover the entire process with no deductable. Is this a good thing to take advantage of or will it hurt me in the long run?